The Turkish House, built around 1879, is situated next to the main market in Rijeka, at the crossing of the Guiseppe Verdi Street and Vatroslava Lisinski Street. This part of Rijeka on the stretch between the theatre and the city market, which was new at the time, was made by filling up during the 19th century and was imagined as the elite part intended for the modern development of shipping, Rijeka port and service and vital operations of the city.
The house is famous under the name palace Bartolich-Gelletich-Nicolaides, according to its owner Antonija Bartolich Gelletich, the widow of the captain Tommas Gelletich, from Rijeka. In 1891, she married a twenty-two years younger Turkish and Greek consul Nikolaki Nikolaki Effendi de Nicolaides. In 1906, the simple building got a fourth floor and an attic, while the façade was redesigned in the then fashionable Oriental style under the architect Carlo Conighi, responsible for some of the most representative buildings in Rijeka and Opatija. This is an unusual blend of Historicism, Art Nuveau and pseudo-Oriental influences with rare examples of calligraphy, in European circles, with four variations of Arabic script (nastaliq, thuluth, kufic and tugrai). The influence of Arabic architecture and art can be seen in architectural shaping. The unique façade with red-yellow horizontal stripes is abundant with stylized vegetable and geometric ornaments, both painted and shaped in architectural plastics. The façade also contains the painted images of human figures, female and male heads, which is not typical for Oriental Islamic culture.
The characteristics of the Turkish House witness the multicultural and multiethnical Rijeka at the beginning of the 20th century. At the time, the city received substantial capital from the entire Europe, and there were as many as twenty-two consulates operating in Rijeka. This historically, linguistically, nationally and religiously unusual city was a fertile ground for various influences and creation of unique examples of architecture, like the Turkish House.
The building is not included in the List of Protected Cultural Goods by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia.
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